Asian stocks lower after Wall Street losses

Asian stocks lower after Wall Street losses

Nvidia was down about 4 percent Tuesday, but its shares are still up since the start of the year, with enthusiasm for AI-related firms having sent its stock price surging
Nvidia was down about 4 percent Tuesday, but its shares are still up since the start of the year, with enthusiasm for AI-related firms having sent its stock price surging. Photo: JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP/File
Source: AFP

Asian markets were mostly down Wednesday, tracking US losses as investors await a key tech earnings report and Fed policy meeting minutes later in the day.

The tech-rich Nasdaq fell nearly one percent in US trading on Tuesday ahead of chip giant Nvidia's highly anticipated results, with traders hoping it can meet high expectations driven by the AI sector and the firm's strong growth.

"The company's results have become the biggest of the reporting period, acting as both a macroeconomic barometer and the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the artificial intelligence boom," Kyle Rodda, senior market analyst at Capital.Com Inc, told Bloomberg.

With its huge valuation, "the bar for an upside surprise is set high," he added.

Nvidia was down about 4 percent on Tuesday, but its shares are still well up since the start of the year, with enthusiasm for AI-related firms having sent its stock price surging.

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US and European equities have repeatedly set record highs in recent months on expectations of interest rate cuts and blockbuster earnings by tech firms, especially those working in AI.

"In our view, this is the market event to watch this week," said Anthony Saglimbene of Ameriprise.

"While one company doesn't usually make or break a market, the growing influence of Nvidia on the overall bullish stock narrative, key tech companies, and broader indexes warrants close attention."

In Hong Kong and mainland China, shares opened lower Wednesday after the Wall Street losses. But they were up about an hour later, with the Hang Seng Index rising about 1.8 percent.

The upticks came after China's central bank said Tuesday it was lowering the five-year loan prime rate, used to price mortgages, from 4.2 to 3.95 percent -- the largest reduction since the key rate was revamped in 2019.

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Traders seemed to shrug off the move, with some analysts waiting for more substantial measures from Beijing to support China's flagging economy and hard-hit property sector.

Sydney, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur were all down.

Japanese stocks were also lower on Wednesday. Chip-linked shares dipped after Nvidia's slump ahead of its earnings report.

Recent losses in Tokyo have pushed the benchmark Nikkei 225 further from hitting its highest-ever close of 38,915.87, reached in 1989.

But Bloomberg reported "macro and stock hedge funds are betting on Japan this year", predicting the central bank will shift its nearly decade-long policy of negative rates.

Key figures around 0200 GMT

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 38,312.63

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.3 percent at 16,459.89

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 2,924.33

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0815 from $1.0811 on Tuesday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.97 yen from 150.00 yen

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Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2631 from $1.2648

Euro/pound: UP at 85.62 pence from 85.63 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.3 percent at $77.24 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: UP 0.3 percent at $82.57 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.2 percent at 38,563.80 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,719.21 (close)

-- Bloomberg News contributed to this story --

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